iOS 8 may have gotten most of the attention at Apple’s WWDC keynote, but the fun stuff isn’t limited to iPhones and iPads. Yosemite will bring the biggest update to OS X in years, combining desktop-level power with the elegance of iOS to create a stunning environment that will make even old Macs feel new again. Here are the features we’re looking forward to the most.
When Pages for iOS was released alongside the iPad in 2010, it was a showcase of all that was possible with Apple's revolutionary tablet. A natural extension of the Mac app, it set the tone for multitouch content creation, with powerful page layout and word processing templates plus tools that complemented the ones we used on our MacBooks. With the new version 2.0 release, however, Pages is no longer a companion app. A complete rewrite for iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks has brought parity across all platforms, and you'll find the same templates, menus, and features everywhere you go, with a strong emphasis on collaboration and editing.
After nearly two years, the mobile edition of iPhoto has finally hit version 2.0, leaving skeuomorphic UI elements behind in order to better fit into an iOS 7 world. Unlike iLife companions iMovie and GarageBand, there’s not a whole lot to get excited about, aside from editing improvements for Camera Roll images. That’s not to say that iPhoto 2.0 isn’t worth the upgrade, particularly now that it’s free with new devices.
The clipboard is ubiquitous for copying and pasting content between apps on one device, but of course it only remembers one thing at a time. CloudClipboard remembers everything you copy, and lets you paste it to any Mac or iOS device through iCloud syncing.
Mint.com is such an amazingly helpful resource that it’s almost unbelievable to think that it’s free. We can input all of our various financial accounts—checking and saving, credit cards, loans, investments, and more—and track them all in real time from the sleek web portal or the iOS app, which is much handier than juggling logins for each institution’s website. And now, thanks to the excellent and free Mint QuickView app, you can keep an eye on your finances with a single click on your Mac.
For the price of a happy-hour pint, SimpliBudget can cover the basics of financial planning and budgeting (including earmarking some funds for happy hour). The program features password protection, and iCloud syncing to other Macs or the $1.99 universal iPhone/iPad app. Support for QFX, QIF, and OFX file formats allows you to download and import your bank statements. And the simple interface makes it easy to tell where the lion’s share of your dough is going.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but why limit yourself to just one picture? Diptic lets you create square-formatted collages of up to six photos. This is a port from iOS (the universal iPhone/iPad app is also $0.99), and it’s just as easy to use here, with Multi-Touch trackpad gestures and easy-to-understand options and sliders. All the frames are adjustable, and you can drag in photos from the Finder, iPhoto, or Aperture, or access those libraries through the Open File dialog. (Scroll all the way down and click Media at the very bottom of the sidebar to see your iPhoto and Aperture albums and events—the Media browser is a little hidden.)
Appointments go on the calendar, and tasks go on the to-do list, right? But when are you going to get these tasks finished, then? You could schedule them on your calendar, but if you don’t actually do them, the calendar keeps marching on, and your task could be forgotten. SmartDay links your iCal calendar with the tasks on your Reminders list, so open space in your day is filled up with tasks you have to do. But if you don’t do them, they don’t just vanish—SmartDay keeps moving those tasks into free moments until you check them off.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had access to your entire music library at all times? And what if you could share that library amongst all your Macs and iOS devices? iTunes Match is an optional paid iCloud component that offers exactly that, and while it’s charms are obvious, there are some limitations and usability issues that make Match’s forecast a little cloudy.